Sunday, March 13, 2016

washing the dishes

Last night we had a bunch of our family over for dinner.  It went great and it's so nice to make the connection to family stronger.  It's also great to have more people come to my house and make stronger the association that this is is where Zahra, Yusuf, Nooriya and I live.

I woke up and found a sink full of dishes.  I started washing them.  All I was doing was washing them.  Not so we could use them again, but JUST washing them.  The last several weeks have been full of planning for this or getting ready for that.  I spent so much energy preparing one way or another for the future.  I was always on the move mentally or physically or both.

Then I started washing the dishes this morning.  It anchored me in time and I was so appreciative of dirty dishes.  Thanks dishes.

I need to wash the dishes more often.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016


I thought my bracelet wearing days were over.

A couple weeks ago, though, Nooriya made a rainbow loom bracelet.  I had thought her rainbow loom days were almost gone.  I thought she had moved past bracelets.

She came to me and gave me the bracelet she made using pink and green rubber bands.  As she gave it to me she explained, "Pink is my favorite color and green is yours."  I've been proudly wearing it since.

It's on my wrist now and it reminds me that I have this strong bond with the kids even though they may not show it the way they used to and that they're not "too" old yet.

Thanks Nooriya.  The bracelet is one of the most meaningful possessions I have.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


and excited. We moved into our house finally. 

It feels amazing. I woke up the first morning and got ready for the day, but everything was new. I didn't know what the light switches operated or which way to turn the handle for hot water.  It sounds annoying, but it forced me to pay attention to every detail.  Everything is so new. I'm noticing so much and I'm so aware. Taher, it shouldn't take moving houses to feel like this. 

The house is so beautiful. It is the nicest place I've ever lived and things are coming together so well. EVERYTHING inside is just like I want it. The location is in between all the places I go. The house is set up for all the stages of life. It's perfect.

It's fantastic and I appreciate this whole house experience so much. But it's made it really clear to me that it doesn't matter much. I already had all the things that really matter. Taher, don't lose sight of that. 

Nooriya lost her first tooth tonight and we moved into our new home just in time;)

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Happiness, Boredom, Little things...

I have some random thoughts on happiness, boredom, little things, and other miscellaneous "stuff" I want to write down and remember.  This may be more stream of consciousness than anything.

I have been super busy lately.  I can't really articulate what has been keeping me busy.  I guess that's just indicative that it's not that important.  I've been too busy to really even write this down.  I was reflecting on boredom as part of being so busy.  Ironically, I've been too busy with stuff and mentally busy to be bored lately.  Lately, I feel I've been filling the time so that I can avoid being bored.  That's dumb.  It's good to be bored and know how to deal with that.  Dealing with being bored is something we teach the kids how to deal with.  Be bored more Taher.

Despite my best efforts, lately it's been difficult to pay attention to the little things. I've at least been aware of this deficiency. I've been lucky to have the reminder  of the kids asking me, "abba can you [fill in the blank] with me?"  It's tempting to answer with something other than YES!  Sometimes other stuff gets in the way, but far more often than anything else the response should be YES!  Before long the kids won't ask much. Taher, this is life and don't let other stuff get in the way.  

I've been learning some stuff about happiness.  We are somewhat predisposed to be happy. This "equilibrium" is roughly half of our happiness or unhappiness. It's not that exact, but it's a lot. Fortunately, there's half or so that's not predisposition.  New meaning for seeing the glass half full. Taher, the glass is half full. 

Also, I learned that kids who have happy parents are more likely to be happy. That's pretty awesome motivation to figure out how to be happier. Do it for the kids Taher;)

Saturday, October 31, 2015


I'm rereading a book I read long ago.  It's by a physicist and one of my favorites.  This time I'm taking away two main points from the book I think the author is making - things are random and humans are not made to understand randomness.

The book opens with a perspective on randomenss that's quite beautiful.  The author writes it really well, "the outline of our lives, like the candle's flame, is continuously coaxed in new directions by a variety of random events that, along with our responses, determine our fate."  He starts with a story about how his parents may never have met if not for some "chance" event.  The story is beautiful and results in me reading this book, but I don't...can't accept his descriptions of events as random.

This last couple weeks for me have been filled with stuff that has ranged the spectrum from unbelievably good to tragic.  This last couple weeks included the family getting to be with Moula during ashara and the terrible news of people close passing away.  Lots of feelings and words come to mind.  A lot of things came together, but never have I felt it was random.

Recent events have forced me to block out distractions and think about what's important and how I got here.  It's not an accident; it's not random.  Today's experience at masjid helped me see that clearly.  A stranger was there to help mumineen when they needed help.  He selflesssly helped them.  He came to masjid today and saw how many people's lives he touched with his actions.  You get what you give Taher whether you see it or you don't.

I disagree with the author's premise that things are just random.

The author's second point that humans are not made to understand randomness.  Our brains just aren't wired to understand.  The arguements are specific to making decisions and using the available information, but I think the point is more universal.

Humans are not made to understand.

Taher, remember your priorities.  Love is part of all the important ones even though love is someting you'll never truly understand.

Monday, September 07, 2015


This morning was pivotal.

Nooriya and I have our Saturday morning tradition of making pancakes. I love it and I don't even like pancakes.   We've been doing pancakes together on Saturdays for as long as I can remember.  Long before we started making them.

We have our routine down.  She helps me get the stuff out.  She helps me mix.  She no longer needs her handy instructions.  I look forward to it and so does she.  The first thing she says to me on Saturday is, "Abba, can we make pancakes?".  She asks not sure what the answer is going to be.  Nooriya, should you ever read this the answer will never be no.

Today, she blew my mind.  She dubbed me the "helper" and herself the "baker".   What?!  I thought I had like 10 more years!  It was mostly the same, but it felt different.  One of the many times I have had to let go a little and one of the, hopefully, many times to come.

She still needs me and Yusuf still needs me.  Taher get out of their way and be their "helper" while they need you to.  One day it will be their choice.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pissed off 2

It's been a couple days.  I'm not angry anymore.

I'm over it, but I wish I could say that I don't spend any energy on what made me upset.  I wish I could stop thinking about it completely.

This morning Yusuf and I were sitting together and noticed something right outside the window.  A small bird was wrestling with what looked like a blade of grass.  The bird was so small and insignificant.

I took a closer look and noticed the blade of grass was actually a smaller and more insignificant bug that the bird was having for breakfast.  It is gruesome to think about, yet so natural.

This scene had layers and gave me good perspective.  I'm small and insignificant and so are the two jerks that set me off.  My experience, while unpleasant, was natural, small, and insignificant.  And it happened and now it's over.  Move on Taher.